When I first moved to the U.S ( Boynton beach, FL) back in January 2004. Never had I imagined I would be a travel nurse today.
I can remember those flashing bright lights at the airport, cars being loud. Such a fast change in environment, no more beachy island life, more restricted life, strange foods, new language, much smaller home, being as a whole family unit for the first time, and new friends. All too challenging for a 10 year old girl who would soon learn to adapt so quickly.
Within months I was eager to speak english. Did good in middle school, started out in sixth grade making honor roll grades with limited english. In highschool, I was overachieving as much as I could . I started highschool in the Health sciences magnet program at Park Vista Community highschool ( cobra country), where I successfully graduated as a CNA and EKG tech .
Do you remember while you were in school, and physical education was a requirement? Were you out of shape? Had to take in between breaks every so often to catch your breath?
That sums up my nursing journey. I had been in the race of nursing , with consistent burnout and struggles.
Starting in highschool, I would volunteer for the activities department at the nursing facility my mother worked at. It was fun while it last. After graduation, I went on to work in a beautiful facility, where the CEO was more worried about the carpet being intact. It was short staffed very often. I gained a lot of learning experience from a couple of great nurses that worked there . These nurses I looked up to because when they realised I wanted to go to nursing school, they would show me how they : drain jp bags, administer tube feedings and etc. They would reassure me that I would be a great nurse. I even had a CNA( Andrea) tell me the same thing. I can still remember a couple of my patients who didn’t want any other aides on the days I were to be off ( standing in the hallways calling my name).
I raced out of that one and started as a home health aide, which barely held me together while going through nursing school(LPN program). Nursing school was such a humble experience where I learned to survive real broke life ( no money, barely working). Thankfully I had a handful of great classmates and our school provided peanut butter crackers for free. I can remember one day, I was so broke, I had a cupcake for breakfast ( left the frosting that I dislike), and went back in the car to eat that frosting for lunch with my water.
I thought once I graduate life will be great. Sike. Graduated and worked weekends, plus I went right back to get my RN, which was another journey. It was so turbulent for the student at the time, being held back, unfair exams( you better believe things starting hitting the news for that school). Long story short I left that school, graduated later on. Now I travel for work.
I can remember this one older gentlemen I took care of, that had dementia right. I would get a report of his erratic behaviors. I would go into work when he is resting , and if I woke him up he kept telling how nice and beautiful I was. No behaviors for me.
Then I had the one gentleman(with reported weakness) who was severely confused, breaking phone cords, throwing things around, and surely enough had enough courage to kick me to my butt at 6:15 am.
My most memorable residents have been the endearing dementia and alzheimer patients, the ask you the same questions a thousand times, while they are pleasantly confused.
My favorites were always my pediatric clients, who eagerly wait for me to come to work. From the babies I would bath and care for to the young children whom I bonded well with the whole family. One child in particular would cling to me ( I spoiled him) and would cry if I dared to put him down or walk away.
All in all
All of this, the hardships and joys have helped me to keep on going. Knowing that there we will be a patient or a family member that I can make their. Nothing like bringing a smile to a child’s face, or hearing a sincere thank you from a resident or appreciative family member. My goal is to be tender and attentive enough to future nurses or new nurses to empower and elevate them to see their full potential.
Although, my own father told me during my young teenage years that I would never be anything. I have become many things because of all who took the time to see me, believe in me and helped me to elevate to my potential
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